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In Chile, Former President Favored in Sunday Vote

  • VOA News

Sebastian Pinera, former Chilean president who is running again for office, addresses supporters at his closing campaign rally in Santiago, Chile, Nov. 16, 2017. Chile will hold presidential and congressional elections Sunday.

Voters in Venezuela are going to the polls Sunday to select a president.

Billionaire businessman Sebastian Pinera is favored to win, but is not expected to gain the 50 percent of the ballots, needed to avoid a December runoff.

Pinera, who is 67, ran a campaign proposing to cut taxes on businesses to promote growth.

The Harvard-educated entrepreneur was president from 2010 to 2014.

FILE - Center-left Chilean senator and presidential candidate Alejandro Guillier takes part in a campaign rally ahead of the next presidential election in November 2017, in Villa Alemana, Valparaiso, Chile, Oct. 10, 2017.
FILE - Center-left Chilean senator and presidential candidate Alejandro Guillier takes part in a campaign rally ahead of the next presidential election in November 2017, in Villa Alemana, Valparaiso, Chile, Oct. 10, 2017.

Pinera’s closest competition is center-left Senator Alejandro Guillier, a former television anchor. He campaigned with promises to continue President Michelle Bachelet’s plan to increase corporate taxes to pay for an education overhaul and other initiatives.

Bachelet previously served as president from 2006 to 2010, when Pinera succeeded her. That scenario seems likely to repeat this year.

Six other presidential candidates are also on the ballot.

Voters on Sunday will also select lawmakers for congressional seats.

Voter apathy could be an issue in the election. Since compulsory voting was dropped in 2012, a growing number of voters have declined to cast their ballots.

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